[Marxism] The Torturer's Art

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Mon May 17 12:46:48 MDT 2004


Darius Rejali -- an associate professor of political science at Reed 
College and the author of Torture and Modernity: Self, Society and 
State in Modern Iran (Westview, 1994) among many other publications 
-- shows that the technique of forced standing, which has proven 
valuable to torturers because it leaves few marks, has a long history:
Forced to stand on a box with wires attached to your fingers, toes 
and penis all night long. Just something that Spec. Sabrina Harman 
dreamed up in Abu Ghraib prison? Think again.

This torture is well known to intelligence agencies worldwide. The 
CIA documented the effects of forced standing 40 years ago. And the 
technique is valued because it leaves few marks, and so no evidence.

Forced standing was a prescribed field punishment in West European 
armies in the early 20th century. The British Army called it Field 
Punishment No. 1, though the soldiers referred to it as "the 
crucifixion." The French Legionnaires called it "the Silo."

By the 1920s, forced standing was a routine police torture in 
America. In 1931, the National Commission on Lawless Enforcement of 
the Law found numerous American police departments using forced 
standing to coerce confessions.

In the 1930s, Stalin's NKVD also famously used forced standing to 
coerce seemingly voluntary confessions for show trials. The Gestapo 
used forced standing as a routine punishment in many concentration 
camps. It even created small narrow "standing cells," Stehzelle, 
where prisoners had to stand all night.

In 1956, the CIA commissioned two experts, Harold Wolff and Lawrence 
Hinkle, who described the effects of forced standing. The ankles and 
feet swell to twice their normal size within 24 hours. Moving becomes 
agony. Large blisters develop. The heart rate increases, and some 
faint. The kidneys eventually shut down. ("A Long-Standing Trick of 
the Torturer's Art," The Seattle Times, May 14, 2004) . . .

The rest of the posting is at 
<http://montages.blogspot.com/2004/05/torturers-art.html>.
-- 
Yoshie

* Critical Montages: <http://montages.blogspot.com/>
* Bring Them Home Now! <http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/>
* Calendars of Events in Columbus: 
<http://sif.org.ohio-state.edu/calendar.html>, 
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://sif.org.ohio-state.edu/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://www.solidarity-us.org/>




More information about the Marxism mailing list